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4 are dead after a driver crashed into a Salem, Oregon, encampment of unhoused people

By Kaylene Chassie and Keith Allen, CNN

Alcohol may have been a contributing factor when a motorist drove into an encampment of unhoused people early Sunday in Salem, Oregon, killing four, police said.

A preliminary investigation suggests the driver plowed into the encampment around 2 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) after veering off the road, the Salem Police Traffic Team said Sunday in a news release.

Two people were pinned under the car and died at the crash scene, while two others died after being taken to a hospital, police said. Two other people remain hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The driver was taken by ambulance to a hospital, police said.

Those killed ranged in age from 21 to 54, police said Monday.

Police arrested the 24-year-old driver on charges including four counts of first-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, third-degree assault and six counts of reckless endangerment, they said in an earlier news release.

He is being held at the Marion County Jail, police said. It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

CNN has reached out to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office for more information.

After the crash, officers helped several uninjured people at the encampment collect their belongings and provided shelter assistance, police said. Three people were taken to a motel, according to the earlier release; the exact number of people and tents at the encampment wasn’t known.

“The City of Salem’s homeless advocacy partners were also contacted in an effort to get the members of our unsheltered community connected to needed resources as a result this tragedy,” the release said.

Police Chief Trevor Womack said in a statement Monday:

“Sunday’s crash was such a tragic incident. The members of our Traffic Team did a tremendous job of quickly working through the investigation to make an arrest and in our effort to bring justice to the victims and their families. Our department will continue working with our social service partners and supporting them in any way possible as we move forward together with our community.”

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Hannah Sarisohn and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.

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